Kate Baker is a celebrity of sorts. Every day when she walks into her place of employment, she is greeted by delighted screams from her fans: a group of elementary school students at Beacon Hill’s Maple Elementary in Seattle, Washington. Why is Baker so popular with her students? It’s very simple: she’s the art teacher.
“They’re always so excited,” Baker said about her students. “They want to know if they have art that day. Because they get joy from it.”
So it seems somewhat wrong and confusing that one of the most popular teachers at Maple Elementary is fearful for her job due to budget cuts in the district. Also, many schools are feeling the pressure to place more emphasis on math and reading skills, which means that any extra funds go to these programs instead of to the art programs.
“If your school has money or if you have a principal who’s a real proponent of the arts, then you get it,” said Baker about which schools have arts departments. “And if you’re not in one of those two groups, then you don’t.”